Today.Az » Society » Azerbaijan celebrates Eid al-Adha holiday
22 August 2018 [00:01] - Today.Az
By Kamila Aliyeva
Today, Muslims around the world are celebrating the sacred Eid al-Adha (Gurban Bayram) - Islam’s most important religious holiday.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev congratulated all Azerbaijani people on the occasion of this sacred holiday.
“I extend my heartfelt congratulations and sincerest wishes to you and all our compatriots living outside Azerbaijan on the occasion of Eid al-Adha, which symbolizes moral unity, solidarity and brotherhood,” he said.
Sacrifice ceremony is remarkable for the fact that Islam, which encourages love for and obedience to the Most High, respect for high moral values, mercy and tolerance, was chosen as the way of truth for people, Ilham Aliyev noted.
“This blessed holiday embodies spiritual and moral unity of Muslims around the world, pious people's love for the Almighty and readiness for dedication in the name of justice. Being devoted to progressive Islamic values, the people of Azerbaijan have cherished Eid al-Adha as one of the blessed days since ancient times, even during the most difficult periods. Millions of Muslims, including thousands of our fellow countrymen, who now demonstrate great solidarity as they preform Hajj, express their gratitude to the Almighty and pray for peace and tranquility in our country and in the world,” he said.
In his congratulatory letter, the head of state emphasized that every such festive occasion becomes a triumph of benevolence, unity and equality, devotion to the Motherland and national statehood in our society.
“I do believe that this blessed holiday will boost our people’s heroism and devotion for the progress of the independent Republic of Azerbaijan and will further strengthen civil peace and national and moral solidarity in our country,” President Aliyev concluded.
Eid al-Adha is one of the holiest celebrations in the Islamic Calendar. Eid al-Adha, which is known as “the festival of sacrifice”, marks the end of the Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj. It is also referred to as the “Gurban Bayram” in Turkic languages.
This year Azerbaijan will celebrate Eid al-Adha on Wednesday and Thursday, August 22-23. The holiday begins in Muslim world on the sunset of the previous day. The date of Eid al-Adha may also vary from country to country depending on whether the moon has been sighted or not.
Eid al-Adha keeps the date on the Islamic calendar, whilst the holiday shifts on the Gregorian calendar from year to year, since the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar and the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar. This difference means Eid al-Adha moves in the Gregorian calendar approximately 11 days every year.
The story of Kurban bayram came from the remembrance of the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to follow God's command to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, as a sign of his faith. As Ibrahim prepared to sacrifice his son, God stopped him and gave him a sheep to sacrifice instead. The festival reminds every one of the mercy and benefits bestowed upon mankind by God.
To this day, Muslims around the world sacrifice cows, goats, lambs, sheep, and camels, all in the name of God, as they honour Prophet Ibrahim’s tradition.
Gurban Bayram celebration in Azerbaijan
Eid al-Adha is officially celebrated in Azerbaijan after independence in accordance with the law adopted by Parliament on “The holidays of the Republic of Azerbaijan”, dated October 27, 1992.
People in Muslim-majority Azerbaijan celebrate Eid al-Adha by slaughtering domestic animals such as a sheep and goat. Islamic rules state that the animal must be healthy and adult.
According to the rules, the meat of the sacrificed animal is divided into three parts. Then, 1/3 of the meat should go to the needy people, 1/3 is given to neighbors and family friends, and the remaining part stays with the family. The people who are away from the Hajj pilgrimage, also carry out this traditional sacrifice. This act also reminds the pilgrim to share worldly goods with those who are less fortunate, and serves as an offer of thanksgiving to God. People visit each other's homes and traditionally Muslim families make efforts to pray and listen to the ceremony in the Mosque. This holiday reminds the importance of charity work in the Muslim world. People also present money grants to those in need.